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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

 

Belarus expels Polish diplomat

From Radio Polonia:

The Polish embassy in Minsk has officially confirmed that its deputy head Marek Bucko has been asked to leave Belarus within a month’s notice.

The embassy spokesperson told Polish Radio ambassador Tadeusz Pawlak had been requested by the Belarusian foreign ministry to recall Bucko by June 15th .

However, no official note naming the Polish diplomat as persona non grata had been presented by the authorities in Minsk. Bucko’s term in the Belarusian capital expires in October. For the past two weeks he has been in Warsaw on holidays and intends to return to Belarus to his wife and child.

Marek Bucko has been in charge of contacts with Belarusian political parties, NGOs and the media. He also had working ties with the Association of Poles in Belarus.

Last week’s move by the justice ministry in Minsk invalidating March election results to this Polish ethnic organization’s top posts have triggered strong protests and condemnation by Poland.

Foreign minister Adam Rotfeld announced in Warsaw that a Polish reply to the diplomat’s expulsion is imminent. He disclosed the Polish side is considering visa refusal to all Belarusian politicians involved in the campaign targeting the Association of Poles.

At the same time, minister Rotfeld underscored the action would not be directed against Belarusian society, but the members of the regime in Minsk.

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